Polly Want a Party!

Every summer I feel the need to do one real doozy of a tablescape, and earlier this summer THIS was IT.  My inspiration: the pool parties and other hot cha cha patio gatherings my parents hosted WAY back in the day (1960s), and it just kind of took off from there.
(P.S. – In response to requests to please do so, I have turned the Comments section back on. PLEASE do not feel obligated in any way to comment. I’m totally OK with “glance-and-go” or “peek-and-pin” without remarks. The Comments section is merely there for your convenience.)

C’mon up the back steps and join the Beach Blanket Bingo fun! (Those 55+ will totally understand that reference!)

 

When we got new energy-efficient windows, I couldn’t bear to part with all of the original ones that came with the house. I use them in decorative ways in various places inside and out like here at the top of the deck steps.

 

The barrage of bright-colored paper lanterns hung with hot pink ribbon starts here at the top of the stairs.

 

 

This old wrought iron bakers rack on the deck comes in handy for food and beverage service from time to time. Here I have stacked up bamboo trays, plates and flatware bundles for those who prefer to eat away from the main table. Just pick up your tray cafeteria style, go through the buffet line, then pick your seat! Notice the throwback paper honeycomb pineapples! (To see this baker’s rack completely decked out for food service, check out “Patisserie de Paris“.

 

 

 

 

The “lounge” area of the deck includes the coffee table where an abundance of fresh tropical fruit serves as a centerpiece. I spread out a trio of monstera leaf placemats over the glass for visual interest.

 

 

 

A mini bar is set up on a round side table. Today’s specialties: your choice of mind-blowing margaritas or fresh and frothy piña coladas! (Seriously, y’all…drink a couple of my margaritas and you’ll find yourself in a hotel room with a tramp stamp, eyebrow piercing and French braided hair, staring at a license signed by “Not-the-Real-Elvis” that makes it official between you and some gnarly barely-of-age surfer dude named Bodhi!)

 

 

I used weathered crates (reminds me of driftwood) as side tables in a couple of areas. Yep…there sits one of those life-altering margaritas! The bamboo tray is loaded up and can easily balance on your lap. To see another way I’ve used these bamboo trays purchased at Old Time Pottery, see “Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner?” And speaking of dinner, I guess I should show you the actual table!

 

A sweeping 108-in. fuchsia tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com sets the scene for this table for 5.

 

 

I like to layer up! In this instance, TWO placemats: natural round “Water Hyacinth” from Pier 1 topped with a fun and floppy off-center monstera leaf from Z Gallerie. (I also used the monstera leaf placemats for “Caribbean Queen“.) The brightly colored ruffled chargers in hot pink, lime, and turquoise are from Crate & Barrel, and can also be seen on posts like “Popsicle Party“, “Pleasant Under Glass“, and “Tropicana“.

 

Faux bamboo flatware is a staple around here! I use it a LOT!!!

 

Paper napkins striped with bright colors are tucked into these fun parrot napkin rings from Z Gallerie.

 

Mixing stemware is a definite YES!!! Just find something that ties them together like shape, color, or style. (The aqua blue stemware is from Pier 1, and the clear hurricane glasses from Old Time Pottery.)

 

 

Just like on the bar (filled with lemons and limes), these jaunty floral Hawaiian shorts are a fun addition! Here the shorts are filled with sago palms for an easy-to-assemble tropical centerpiece.

 

 

 

Yes, my paper lantern addiction continues!! (Don’t they look extra pretty in that 2nd pic with the lights glowing?) This time they have a bright pink grass skirt backdrop. I dropped in a few more swingin’ parrots, too.

 

Off to the side is a bowl of leis for guests to get in the spirit of the evening. Flip flops for everyone!!!

 

Cheers, everyone, from my buddy, Barbara (who is probably still laid out trying to make the room stop spinning from this drink!!!).

Other tropical-inspired posts on this blog include:
Flashy Flamingos – Navy, White & Pink Tablescape
Summer Breeze
Hot Tropical
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Flamingos In Paradise
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
Oranges & Blossoms
Caribbean Queen
Tropicana

Other posts using paper lanterns include:
Fairy Princess Party for Little Girls
Chinese Takeout
Cupcake Colors
Butterfly Kaleidoscope
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Easter Brunch
Under A Paper Moon

I’m joining Susan and the gang for “Tablescape Thursday” this week. If you want to see some really cool tablescapes by a variety of talented artists, head on over!

 

 

 

 

Italian Honeysuckle

INSPIRATION: Our neighbors' fabulous honeysuckle arbor!

INSPIRATION: Our neighbors’ fabulous honeysuckle arbor!

Hello, and welcome to my neighbors’ backyard! This past summer when the honeysuckle on their arbor was in full bloom, they phoned to say get over there and get a tablescape done. You don’t have to tell me twice! The beautiful color in the blooms, though, reminded me more of a fall day. So I created this tablescape (way back in late June!) to bring to you this autumn season. That’s REALLY thinking ahead, huh? 😉
(Click on any photo, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Table set up in yardThis is the view from our deck. They’ve got so many beautiful trees! I did another fall tablescape in their yard a couple of years ago, September Wine, that is still one of my all-time favorites.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Full table in front of honeysuckle arborI wanted the table to convey a bit of elegance, so I started with a flowing, full-length ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Single place settingI loved how the sun cast long shadows and danced around the table! The time of day this was photographed caught just the effect I wanted! Each place setting started with a mustard gold dinner plate from Pier 1 Imports that I bought at the clearance store years ago. The olive green bowl (for the mostaccioli!) is also a long ago purchase from Pier 1 and is a part of our everyday collection at home.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Flatware, oil dip bowl, napkin overhang collageThe tea towel napkins were purchased at Dollar Tree. They really have a pretty decent selection, and I like to use these for napkins when messy food is served. I hung the napkin off the side of the table to add a little color at that level. You will notice how the olive branch motif mimics the centerpiece. The bright red-orange bowls are for my copycat version of Zio’s Italian Restaurant dipping oil. You can find how to make it on my recipe page HERE. This will become a staple in your pantry!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Stemware and personal wine carafeThe glassware is standard from Old Time Pottery. The personal wine carafe at each place setting is something I like to do sometimes instead of sitting the actual bottles on the table. Each person can refill their own wine glass at their discretion.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Green ceramic water pitcher and condiments collageCrushed red pepper and grated parmigiano-reggiano are in bowls that match the dinner plates. The green ceramic water pitcher was a Home Goods purchase from a couple of years back.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Wicker chair with toss pillowRamon brought a couple of wicker chairs from our master suite for the ends of the table. I plopped in a comfy toss pillow from Home Goods. (This same pillow was used in a recent Asian-inspired tablescape, Chinese Takeout.) The colors work so nicely in this setting!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Olive branch centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Olive branchesI arranged a mass of faux olive branches in a towering stoneware vase from Pier 1 that usually sits in Ramon’s dressing area in our master suite.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Honeysuckle arbor

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: Honeysuckle collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Italian Honeysuckle: View of sky through branchesThanks to my neighbors for letting me invade their backyard space once again. It really is beautiful with all the trees (just look at that view through the branches!) and flowers and that gorgeous arbor!

More autumn tables on this site:
Autumn” page (10 fabulous fall posts on this page!)
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
“Quick & Casual Plaid & Paisley Fall Dinner”

Pumpkins & Peacocks
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Best Laid Plans
Serape High Style
Sunflower Simple
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn Blues
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Copper Zen”

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants

 

Blog parties I’m linking up with this week:
Christine at Rustic & Refined for “Table It!”
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch “Tablescape Thursday”

Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin' Thicke's black & white striped suit worn  during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton)

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin Thicke’s body-hugging black & white striped suit worn during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton) Source: US Magazine

Inspiration apparently comes from just about anywhere. Sometimes when you least expect it. Last year as I watched the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Robin Thicke sashayed onto the stage in a suit that commanded my utmost attention. At first I couldn’t decide…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland, Convicts collage

Convict? Tweedledum and Tweedledee from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”? Michael Keaton in “Beetlejuice”???

Then, I thought of another image a little closer to my wheelhouse…

 

 

Sunflower Soiree by Carolyne Roehm

INSPIRATION: Another fabulous party designed by Carolyne Roehm. Source: The Party Dress

Ah, yes! This beautiful party designed by my beloved Carolyne Roehm. A few short months later I found just the thing to help me bring the spirit of these two very diverse yet equally inspiring ideas (I mean, c’mon…Robin Thicke is a cutie pie!!!) to life in my own way for an intimate summer dinner party.
(Click on any image, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full tableThis semi-formal contemporary table for 12 was created by using two 6′ tables dressed in white stretch tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve talked before about the ease of these tablecloths and how they require absolutely no ironing…my favorite feature of all! 🙂 (I don’t get paid to peddle LTC’s products or say nice things about them…I just know what I love!)

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single place settingKeeping with the linear look, sharply squared black chargers are topped with square white B. Smith plates.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - menuI created individual menus using black and white striped paper from Hobby Lobby. I chose to use a long decorative sheet underneath with a short top sheet to highlight the elongated aspect of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Flatware, Napkin, Stemware collageThe modern design of the J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware with its straight lines and squared off heels is perfect for this setting. The jet black napkin is simply folded and tucked beneath the charger to cascade off the side of the table. Again…going for the same long, lean look of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - centerpiece flowers

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Calla lilies and candlesticks collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single glass votiveTo keep with the posh, modern look, I opted to go with dramatic floral arrangements in bright hues of a singular bloom to offset the undeviating lines of the stripes. Scads of calla lilies – a decidedly contemporary flower – are displayed in chunky black glass vases. Long-stemmed tulips (faux here for demonstration purposes, but I encourage you to go fresh for an actual dinner party) arch gracefully from taller, curvier vessels. Graceful 15″ metal case candlesticks are set in simple glass holders. (Metal case candles never lose their shape, don’t pose the same dripping problems as wax candles, and pose a reduced safety hazard.) Those same glass holders are flipped upside down to accommodate a random scattering of votives down the table.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - line of chairs

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Chair collageThe black and white striped stretch chair covers are from LinenTablecloth.com. When I first saw these on their website, I just about lost my mind with glee! As with all of their stretch chair covers, the front has an opening that allows guests to comfortably put their feet back. Like the tablecloth, these stretch chair covers are very easy care, require no ironing, and slip on in a matter of mere seconds to transform a banquet chair from blah to Wham-Bam-Don’t-I-Look-Absolutely-GLAM!!! To see these chair covers used in a completely different setting, check out “Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos Football Tablescape”.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: These chair covers are designed to fit standard banquet chairs only. See product description on LTC website. I bought my banquet chairs on Craig’s List, but you can also purchase them at Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, or through hotel/restaurant/clubhouse going-out-of-business sales, churches, etc.)

 

Other posts using black & white (some with touches of a bright accent color) on this site:
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend
Little Black Dress
Black, White & Red All Over
A Little Pomp IS the Circumstance Graduation Buffet
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Hooray For Vodka!

I’ll be heading on over to Christine’s Rustic & Refined for the 13th installment of “Table It!” starting tonight (Sunday) and then to Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later in the week. I hope you’ll join me as I check out tablescape genius from around the globe!

 

Grill It Up!

INSPIRATION: BBQ Towel/Napkin, just $1 each from Dollar Tree

INSPIRATION: BBQ Towel/Napkin, just $1 each from Dollar Tree

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Full deck with buffet and grill

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Full table & buffetMemorial Day weekend, in addition to its primary purpose of paying tribute to our loved ones who have passed on, marks the unofficial start of Summer. Grilling and a picnic atmosphere are both a huge part of this time of year. We’re getting our Summer picnic table for 6 kicked off with a 90″ x 132″ economy white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com topped with a fun red & white checkered 60″ x 126″. These linens wash up really well, so no worries…slather on the bbq sauce!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Single place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Crock, napkin, flatware collageEach place setting begins with a basic black dinner plate from the Dollar Tree topped with a smoky red crock (I can just taste the baked beans now!) from T.J. Maxx/Home Goods. The white flatware is also from T.J. Maxx.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Mason jar collageMason jars – typical at many family gatherings I attended as a kid – have become a staple in farm chic entertaining in the past few years. Here the old-fashioned drinking vessels are accented with a fun black & white striped straw from Michael’s.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Colander of strawberriesWhat summertime picnic is complete with juicy, ripe strawberries? Try serving them up in something fun like this luscious red miniature colander from Old Time Pottery.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Water carafe collageA duo of inexpensive clear glass water carafes from Big Lots is set up on each end of the table. A slice of lemon is added to each to add a little color and flavor as well as to make the carafes an integral part of the centerpiece.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - African violet collage“Ness’ Snow Cloud” African violets are presented in shiny red pails from Hobby Lobby and placed atop a Pottery Barn galvanized aluminum tray for a simple centerpiece.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Beverage & condiment table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Kabob platter, ant dishes collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Beverage tub, watermelon collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Sauce tray collageThe side table is set up with additional beverages iced down in a galvanized aluminum tub from Home Goods. A galvanized tin tray from Home Goods holds various sauces including two hometown favorites. The fun ant-covered plates are from Pier 1. Veggies for kabobs are served up on a cherry red Chantal serving dish.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Coleman lantern collageMy Dad – a farm boy-cum-business/civic leader – passed away last year, and while cleaning out the garage my Mom found his old Coleman lantern, thought to have been purchased in the late 1960s – early 1970s. As you can see, it saw some use in its heyday. It’s now a treasure for me as a reminder that “You can take Daddy out of country, but you can’t take the country out of Daddy.”

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Prep table for grilling

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Meat rub, marinade bowl, plastic tub collageThe grill master (or grill mistress, as it were!) has everything he/she needs including a porky little friend who ditched his chalkboard to hold the matches. The red plastic serving baskets are great for serving up ribs when lined with parchment paper!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Grill collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Apron, pot holder collageLet’s get those coals going!!!!!!

Other posts on this site suitable for Memorial Day weekend get-togethers:
All-American Seafood Boil
Stars & Stripes
Ants In My Pants Picnic
Black, White & Red All Over

Blue & White Family Picnic

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants

I’ll be joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” again this week and linking up with BeBetsy.com, a terrific lifestyle site with loads of fabulous ideas from knowledgeable and talented contributors. You can also find lots of great ideas at a fun new blog party, “Table It!” over at Christine’s Rustic & Refined.

Here’s wishing you all a safe holiday weekend!

Under a Paper Moon

I’ve still haven’t regained my mojo to the point that I can create, so this week I am sharing photos from a birthday dinner party last summer.

IMG_2911WM

Sultry summer nights with a few close friends means casual dining under the stars…and a few colorful paper moons! My friend doesn’t like anyone to “fuss over” him, so a casual outdoor tablescape was totally in order.

IMG_2926WM

This easy, breezy table starts with a white cotton linen. Next is a length of cheery lime green, turquoise, aqua & white floral fabric. The place settings are kept relatively simple so as not to fight with the strong pattern in the table covering. Clear acrylic square dinner plates in turquoise from Target are topped with sheer green salad plates to allow the pattern to shine through. Each place setting is topped with a turquoise square glass votive holder. White flatware from TJ Maxx and a white cotton napkin with a fun Tuesday Morning turquoise & green stone ring doesn’t get lost in the linen pattern. The centerpiece is very simple: a trio of Home Goods aqua glass candlesticks with fat white candles illuminate the evening’s festivities.

Fanciful turquoise and lime green paper lanterns float easily above the dining table, lending color and movement to the night. (I will never forget teetering like a tightrope walker at the top of that ladder as long as I live!)

So there you have it: casual summer dining in its simplest form.

For more posts using paper lanterns on this site:
Cupcake Colors”
“Butterfly Kaleidoscope”
Blue & White 30th Birthday”
Easter Brunch
Fairy Princess Party for Little Girls
Chinese Takeout

Thank you for stopping in!
Meet me again this week for Tablescape Thursday with Susan and the other tablescape fans over at Between Naps on the Porch!